Mosquitoes need just a few ounces of water for their eggs to hatch, which takes anywhere from four days to seven days as the eggs mature and insects emerge, Dan Markowski, PhD, technical advisor at the American Mosquito Control Association, told me in an email interview. “A cup, maybe half a cup, could easily be enough water for mosquitoes to successfully lay their eggs,” he said.
That’s why even though spatial and topical repellents should be a part of your bug-bite defense plan, a “dump and drain” strategy to rid your property of potential skeeter breeding spots pays big dividends.
“Preventing mosquitoes from breeding is the best way to ensure you don’t get bitten, mostly because it’s a numbers game,” Markowski said. Contending with a few mosquitoes is much better than contending with lots of mosquitoes, in other words, and letting them multiply unabated in and around your property means you’re much more likely to have to deal with the latter. Here’s how to make your outdoor space less hospitable to mosquitoes and their eggs, whether you’ve got an expansive yard, a cozy balcony, or anything in between.